THE MASS OF THE PHOENIX
By Aleister Crowley
[Notes by David Cherubim]
[The Mass of the Phoenix is a simple exoteric form of the Eucharist for daily use of the Magician. The Eucharist is "communion" or the act of receiving the Sacrament.]
[44 is the special number of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child. It is the number of DM, Daleth-Mem, the Hebrew word for Blood, which is central to the Mass.]
[The Mass of the Phoenix is to be performed by the Magician at Sunset. Before conducting the Mass, the Magician should perform the Lesser Thelemic Ritual of the Pentagram or Liber XXV, the Star Ruby.]
The Magician, his breast bare, stands before an altar on which are his Burin, Bell, Thurible, and two of the Cakes of Light. In the Sign of the Enterer he reaches West across the Altar, and cries: [Cry of the Hawk.]
Hail Ra, that goest in thy bark
Into the caverns of the Dark!
[The Burin, or Sharp Cutting Tool, corresponds to the Element of Earth; the Bell corresponds to Spirit; the Thurible, or Censer for burning Incense, corresponds to the Element of Fire; and the two Cakes of Light correspond to the Elements of Air and Water. The Elements are linked with the Five Human Senses.]
[The Sign of the Enterer is the Sign of Horus, also called the Sign of Attacking.]
[Ra is the Ancient Egyptian Sun God and Chief Deity. He is a Hawk-Headed Divinity. The Bark is a small sailing Boat.]
He gives the sign of Silence, and takes the Bell, and Fire, in his hands.
East of the Altar see me stand
With light and musick in my hand!
[The Sign of Silence is the Sign of Harpocrates, also called the Sign of Protection.]
[Light in right hand, bell in left hand. These represent the masculine and feminine principles. Qabalistically, the word Musick is Mem-Vav-Samekh-Yod-Kaph-Kaph = 156 = BABALON.]
He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell 333-55555-333 and places the Fire in the Thurible.
I strike the Bell: I light the Flame,
I utter the mysterious Name.
[The battery 333-55555-333 represents the 5 in the midst of the 6 or the Great Work accomplished.]
[Abrahadabra also represents the Great Work accomplished. It is the formula of the Central Sephira on the Tree of Life, called Tiphareth, and the Magical Formula for the New Aeon of Horus. It is the Magick Word of the Aeon and the Word of Double Power. It is from the word Abrasax, the Father Sun, a name for the Gnostic Solar Deity.]
He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell.
Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come; Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me though midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten
Even now and here be mine. AMEN.
[The Child is Heru-Ra-Ha, the Sun of Light, Life, Love and Liberty!]
[The One Crown is Kether, the first Sephira on the Tree of Life, which is the Crown of all the ten Sephiroth of the Tree. Kether is the Summum Bonum, or THAT which is beyond Evil and Good and, for that matter, all other relative phenomena and illusions. AMEN is a Name of Kether, and it is an affirmation of Unity with the Highest.]
He puts the first Cake on the Fire of the Thurible.
I burn the Incense-cake, proclaim
These adorations of Thy name.
[For the Cakes of Light, see Liber Legis, III: 23-29.]
[For the adorations, see Liber Legis, III: 37-38.]
He makes them as in Liber Legis, and strikes again Eleven times upon the Bell. With the Burin he then makes upon his breast the proper sign.
[The proper sign is the Mark of the Beast, which is the Sign of the Sun and Moon or Cross and Circle conjoined. For those of you less inclined to use the Burin to carve the actual sign on your breast, a simple strike or thrust to the finger with the Burin to draw blood, and then the making of the sign on the breast with the blood, will suffice.]
Behold this bleeding breast of mine
Gashed with the sacramental sign!
He puts the second Cake to the wound.
I stanch the Blood; the wafer soaks
It up, and the high priest invokes!
He east the second Cake.
This Bread I eat. This Oath I swear
As I enflame myself with prayer:
"There is no grace: there is no guilt:
This is the Law: DO WHAT THOU WILT!"
[The Oath is the Word, and the Word is the Will. To enflame is to set on fire, to kindle, to excite, to intensify. The secret of Magick itself is: "Enflame thyself in praying." Prayer is an address to a God and an affirmation of the Will. Grace is 'unmerited' divine aid. Guilt is 'wrong' conduct or Sin. DO WHAT THOU WILT is the Law of Thelema, which is the Law of Liberty. We are free, by the Law of Thelema, to go forth and fulfill our own Will.]
He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell, and cries:
[There are four magickal batteries of 333-55555-333 in the Mass of the Phoenix, and 11 x 4 = 44, the Number of Horus and Blood, which is the Life of the Magician.]
I entered in with woe; with mirth
I now go forth, and with thanksgiving,
To do my pleasure on the earth
Among the legions of the living.
He goeth forth.
[Mirth is gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter. To go is the function of a God, or the act of doing one's Will, without interference, like the Sun moving in space, freely and eternally. Thanksgiving is to give thanks, to be thankful or grateful, which is a key to the fulfillment of the Will. For what we focus our attention on expands. If we are thankful for the Joy, Miracle and Light of Life, then we receive more of it. Thanksgiving is the nature of the Eucharist itself.]
[A final note: The Phoenix is the alchemical symbol of Transmutation and of the Great Work accomplished. The Phoenix is the legendary bird that lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and then rose again from the ashes for another 500 years. Thus the Phoenix is a symbol of Resurrection, Reincarnation, Redemption, and like ideas. The Phoenix is synonymous with the White Pelican of Alchemy who feeds its young ones from the blood of its breast.]